Live recording of proceedings in judicial and quasi judicial bodies
Shri Narendra Modi
LIVE RECORDING OF PROCEEDINGS IN JUDICIAL AND QUASI JUDICIAL BODIES
I wish to humbly submit you that our courts have not been following punctuality and prescribed time schedule for a pretty enough period. Moreover the principles of natural justice and the written procedure codes are also defied openly and fair trial seems to be a miracle to aggrieved persons. Order Sheets are either drawn at late hours in night or in early morning of the next succeeding working by courts in general. The statements of witnesses are recorded in absence of the Presiding Officers in general in courts .The prescribed timings for the judges to sit in chamber are 1 hour. Contrary to the prescription an average judge sits hardly for 3 hour in court and retires in chamber or attending seniors for the remainder barring a few exceptions. The pendency coupled with unwarranted frequent adjournments continues to cloud or hover like deadly and protracted illness.
Therefore, the presence of a party, awaiting for whole of the day, in court at the time of hearing is rendered redundant and summarily coercive and oppressive. Sometimes the presiding officers may threaten parties or counsels who disagree with them or may it be vice versa. The GIST of discussions are not recorded correctly i.e. some facts may be left or some extraneous points may be included without any submission from advocates. Even the presence of the absentee Government Advocates are shown shamelessly by the Judges.
Our Parliament had a system of concurrent recording of proceedings already and now the live telecasting has been arranged well ago. Hon’ble judges of Supreme Court had to face allegations long ago like- "Whereas in the Lok Sabha every word that is spoken is written down, in the Supreme Court none of the arguments by the parties or observations by the Judge are noted. This is the reason why Shri J. C. Shah makes such illegal and dishonest observations orally in the Court in the belief that these observations will not find place on the record and nobody will be able to patch him."( C. K. DAPHTARY & ORS.Vs. O. P. GUPTA & ORS. 1971 AIR 1132) Though there was no technological competence at that time to arrange for. Transparency is direly needed for the healthy functioning of every Organ of Democracy as well as for preservation of the credibility and dignity of the judiciary. Courts must avert such untoward situation now. I believe for quite some time that the live or at least audio /electronic recording of proceedings be arranged, with aid from local National Informatics Studio, to have a correct and truthful record of the court and a transcript copy of the same be provided to parties. The live recording of court proceedings is already in vogue in many countries including USA.
Accordingly I pray your kind honour to please effect suitable changes in the procedural laws to facilitate live recording of the proceedings before all the Judicial & quasi Judicial Bodies .So long the facility is not arranged by Administration of Judiciary, a party may kindly be allowed to record the proceedings at his cost on the days’ fixed for hearing of case in the court.
Hoping for a favourable consideration,
Dated: 12.06.14 Yours truly,
MANI RAM SHARMA